Sunday, May 9, 2021

8,800 COVID-19 Cases Linked to Canadian Carceral Institutions by the End of May 2021

* Updated 2 June 2021 at 1:50pm EST *

Prisoners = 6,276 (9 deaths reported)
Staff = 2,126 (1 death reported)
Contractors = 6 
Unspecified = 392
Total = 8,800

Canadian Jurisdictions with Reported COVID-19 Cases 
Linked to their Carceral Institutions as of 31 May 2021  

Federal | Correctional Service Canada = 2,188 (1,579 prisoners | 609 staff) 
Nova Scotia = 4 (2 + 1 prisoners | 1 staff)
New Brunswick = 2 (0 prisoners | 2 staff)
Prince Edward Island = 1 (1 prisoner | 0 staff)
Quebec = 1,042 (637 prisoners | 405 staff) 
Ontario = 2,075 (1,580 prisoners | 491 staff | 4 contractors)
Manitoba = 614 (484 prisoners | 130 staff)
Saskatchewan = 1,052 (825 prisoners | 227 staff)
Alberta = 1,633 (1,027 prisoners | 212 staff | 2 contractors | 392 unspecified)
British Columbia = 177 (128 prisoners | 49 staff)
Nunavut = 12 (12 prisoners | 0 staff)

Other Carceral Institutions (not included in overall count above)
Federal | Canadian Border Services Agency = 6 (4 prisoners | 1 staff | 1 contractor)

Canadian Jurisdictions without Reported COVID-19 Cases 
Linked to their Provincial-Territorial Jails and Prisons as of 31 May 2021 
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories

The preliminary findings presented above were compiled from figures included media reports and publicly available government data sets. Due to the quality of the data available, it is possible that there are additional laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to prisoners and/or staff of Canadian carceral institutions than those compiled above as many jurisdictions do not report both types of cases online on a pro-active basis like the Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec and  Manitoba CorrectionsCorrectional Service Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General release prisoner COVID-19 case figures on a regular basis through tables accessible through a single web link, but not those of their institutional staff. All other Canadian human caging authorities do not make such data sets available online, including the Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety and the Alberta Correctional Services Division that have had several large outbreaks linked to their provincial jails and prisons, as well as the Nova Scotia Correctional Services Division, the Corrections Branch of the New Brunswick Department of Public SafetyPrince Edward Island Community and Correctional Services, and British Columbia Corrections that have had fewer cases linked to their provincial sites of confinement. Researchers, journalists, policymakers and practitioners using the data presented above are invited to contact should they find any errors or have any questions. 


The preliminary findings above were compiled as part of the "COVID-19: Investigating Canada's Carceral Response to the Coronavirus through the Prison Pandemic Partnership" (principal investigator: Kevin Walby, PhD - uWinnipeg | co-investigator: Justin Piché, PhD - uOttawa | partner organization: Canadian Civil Liberties Association) project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The partnership project is housed within the Centre for Access to Information and Justice at the University of Winnipeg.  

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